Age 36: he has his mom's hair--muddy blonde, like the strands of a strong, wet rope--it peaks out at the neck line of a blotchy grey helmet. one sock is scrunched and a dirty smear blends pink leg and white cotton where the elastic band of his pants cinches around his soft shins. James came like a fall storm./ We have no friends here/ The air is too thin and the grass isn't blue enough to feel good between my toes/ Yes, but I'm late again/ How late do you mean/ Two months late/ ...are you happy/ So happy/ Do you love me/ So much/. he has swung twice, body twisting too much with the inertia of the aluminum bat, missing one high and one wide. the third hits his shoulder on the meat before the blade--two years ago he would have cried and come to me--he drops the bat and puts his hand over the spot for an instant, then sprints for first. turning quickly he crouches, hands on knees, and tilts the helmet, which has skittered in flight, and grins at me on the second row of the wooden bleachers. his mouth, the size of a cherry tomato, mimes "ow" and I hold up a fist. another boy leans into position, and he plants his feet: ready to run.